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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Columbia Archives: Telling Columbia's Story

I have made references to my trips to the Columbia Archives to research information for a number of my blogs on Columbia.  Today I want to give a little more background to this amazing Columbia asset. According to it's website,

" In 1982, long-time Columbia resident Rebecca Orlinsky organized a display of clippings and other ephemera for the Columbia Forum Day of Work.  Enthusiasm for the exhibit led to a petition to form an archives to chronicle the history of the then 15-year-old community. A year later the Museum and Archives of the History of Columbia, MD, aka Columbia Archives, was incorporated and Orlinsky and Ruth McCullough began working as volunteers on a daily basis.    Donations of materials from those involved in the planning and development of Columbia, as well as residents and others who helped shape the city, began to pour in."

"In 1992 Columbia Archives became part of the Columbia Association, the property owner’s organization that serves as the unincorporated community’s quasi-government.  The collection and the activities grew considerably.  In 1996, Columbia Archives received the papers of James Rouse, doubling the size of our holdings and increasing the significance of the collection."

Ever wonder about the origins of all the street names in Columbia? The Archives has published a book called "Oh, you must live in Columbia: The origins of place names in Columbia, Maryland."

Now through the end of December the Achives is exhibiting materials that show how Jim Rouse proposed "to communicate to the community, The Rouse Company answered with a carefully constructed marketing plan and innovative ideas including cable connections to every home. The exhibit of marketing materials, national media coverage, correspondence and local newspapers will highlight the ways The Rouse Company communicated the idea and reality of Columbia initially and how the responsibility for communication shifted to the local press and others in the community." Communication methods have changed dramatically in the last 50 years, but the need to communicate is basic and constant. As part of its celebration for American Archives Month, the Columbia Archives will host a discussion with local voices in print and online media on Wednesday, October 12 at 7 p.m. at CA Headquarters. David Greisman, Columbia Flier/Howard County Times; Lisa Kawata, freelance feature writer; Lisa Rossi, Columbia Patch; and Duane St. Clair, HoCo Connect; will discuss the challenges, opportunities and importance of context in getting out the news in today’s world of instant messaging and sound bites.

Ever what to do on a rainy Autumn day?  How about going to the Columbia Archives and browsing through some of the history of our town?  

Columbia Archives is located on the ground floor of the American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle, Columbia 21044. We are in Columbia Town Center, off Little Patuxent Parkway, across from the Columbia Mall and is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


When I moved to Columbia in the 1970's I started noticing prints around the town by Wes Yamaka.  Hear him tell his story about how Columbia impacted him.


Jessie said...

Hi Duane, If you've yet to hear, there is even a Twitter hashtag for this event. It's #ColThenNow. ;-) Good to see you last night at the blogger party.

Barbara Kellner, Columbia Archives said...

Thank you recognizing the value of Columbia Archives and for publicizing the event on Wednesday. We're living in a complicated world of communications. The discussion on Wednesday should be most interesting and after the discussion participants are invited to the Archives to see the exhibit.